Healthcare Industry News:  Prostate Cancer 

Devices Oncology

 News Release - October 10, 2012

Varian's 'GPS for the Body' Real-Time Tracking System Used for Prostate Patients at Leading U.K. Radiotherapy Clinic

LONDON, Oct. 10, 2012 -- (Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network) -- Clinicians at the Harley Street Clinic in London are using the Calypso® 'GPS for the Body' system from Varian Medical Systems (VAR) to provide real-time tracking of tumors during Prostate Cancer radiotherapy treatments. The first such system to be installed in the UK, Calypso real-time tracking has been used to enhance the precision and quality of treatments for more than 20 Prostate Cancer patients at the clinic to date.

"This really is the gold standard for real-time tracking and we are finding that as patients learn about the system, an increasing number are requesting that we make use of Calypso transponders during their treatments," said Neil Livingstone, treatment superintendent. "We hope that an increase in precision may help minimize radiation to healthy tissue while giving our clinicians additional confidence to deliver higher doses."

At the Harley Street Clinic, clinicians are using the real-time tracking capabilities of Calypso to reduce the amount of healthy tissue exposed to the treatment beam. Three Calypso transponders are inserted into the prostate, where they provide continuous real-time information. The position of the markers is tracked continuously throughout a treatment session to help keep the beam on target. If the targeted area moves outside the treatment beam, the treatment is automatically halted.

Another benefit of the system, according to Neil Livingstone, is that patients no longer need to be imaged on a daily basis, avoiding the need for additional X-ray exposure during conventional imaging. "We have great faith in the real-time tracking abilities of Calypso which means we no longer need to image our patients as often as before," adds Neil Livingstone.

Just as a GPS tracking system in a car can pinpoint where the car is at all times in relation to its destination, Calypso 'GPS for the body' provides continuous real-time information as to the precise location of the prostate. The prostate is not a stationary target. It can shift by as much as several millimeters during a radiotherapy treatment session. The Calypso system enables clinicians to track the prostate in real time during treatment, in order to help enhance treatment precision. There are more than 100 Calypso installations globally and more than 15,000 patients worldwide have been treated using the system.

A clinical study entitled, "Assessing the Impact of Margin Reduction (AIM)," published in the medical journal Urology, demonstrated that the use of Calypso real-time tracking during radiotherapy treatments for Prostate Cancer resulted in a significant reduction in the majority of serious treatment-related side effects that were studied.1

Editorial contact: Neil Madle, Varian Medical Systems, +44 7786 526068

About Varian Medical Systems

Varian Medical Systems, Inc., of Palo Alto, California, is the world's leading manufacturer of medical devices and software for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, and brachytherapy. The company supplies informatics software for managing comprehensive cancer clinics, radiotherapy centers and medical oncology practices. Varian is a premier supplier of tubes, digital detectors, and image processing workstations for X-ray imaging in medical, scientific, and industrial applications and also supplies high-energy X-ray devices for cargo screening and non-destructive testing applications. Varian Medical Systems employs approximately 6,100 people who are located at manufacturing sites in North America, Europe, and China and approximately 70 sales and support offices around the world. For more information, visit or follow us on

1 Sandler, Howard, et al. "Reduction in Patient-reported Acute Morbidity in Prostate Cancer Patients Treated With 81-Gy Intensity-modulated Radiotherapy Using Reduced Planning Target Volume Margins and Electromagnetic Tracking: Assessing the Impact of Margin Reduction Study." Urology 75 no. 5, (2010): 1004-1008.

Source: Varian Medical Systems

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